Round up of all the latest news and developments in reforming your health and social care

Here is  a summary of some recent developments and things that are happening across the region:



Rapid Response nursing teams making a positive impact

Photograph of former Health Minister Simon Hamilton, nurse and patient .The Rapid Response Nursing Service in the Western Health and Social Care Trust is a community based Acute Nursing Service which operates from 8am – 12 midnight through the week providing acute nursing care to patients locally and in their very own home when required.

Former Minister Simon Hamilton recently visited the Rapid Response Team in County Tyrone Hospital, Omagh and he believes that the nursing team is an “invaluable service which aims to prevent admission to hospital and facilitates early discharge, which are both key to the delivery of Transforming Your Care”.

The team of nurses works closely with Hospital Consultants and GPs to deliver the correct treatment for service users, from blood transfusions right through to intravenous antibiotics, as well as providing an Out of Hours District Nursing Service.

Photograph of former Health Minister Simon Hamilton with staff at County Tyrone Hospital, Omagh.The service is going from strength to strength since 2013 when the first Rapid Response Clinical Intervention Centre was opened in Tyrone County Hospital, Omagh with a second Clinical Intervention Centre opening in Derry/Londonderry in 2014 and now a third is being planned for the Fermanagh area.

In line with the Transforming Your Care programme, the team enables the early discharge of patients back into the local community, receiving treatment in the comfort of their own homes and working to integrate hospitals and community care to provide top quality healthcare for patients and service users in the Western Area.



Community Care and Treatment Centres

Final bids for the development of the new £40m Health and Care Centres in Newry and Lisburn have now been received and evaluated.

The winning bid teams have been informed of the outcome and the Appointment Business Case and associated approvals have also been completed and submitted to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety and the Minister for final decisions.



Update on Self Directed Support

Over the summer months the Health and Social Care Board, in collaboration with each of the Trusts, held 5 Stakeholder Events on Self Directed Support across the region.

Self Directed Support (SDS) is a much more flexible way of providing people with personalised care by giving them choice and control over their support packages and how they use them.

Over 500 attendees took part in the events held in Omagh, Downpatrick, Ballymena, Belfast and Portadown with a range of speakers including Service Users and Carers, and organisations including the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA).

The focus of each event was to share information and explore opportunities for greater partnership working around the co-design of services and personalisation, which are key elements of SDS and the Transforming Your Care reform programme.

Social media communication was a key element throughout the 5 events with participants tweeting over 1,000 times to an audience of 75,000 followers.

Feedback was highly positive and has built solid foundations on which to build SDS upon moving forward.

For further information on SDS visit our information webpage.



dNav expansion transforming lives of those with Type 2 Diabetes in South Eastern Trust Area

The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) welcomed the announcement this month by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust (SEHSCT) that they are to expand the dNav service which improves the lives of Type 2 diabetes patients from around 270 patients to almost 700 patients in the next year. This fantastic initiative has been supported by the Board.

Type 2 diabetes, which occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function properly or the body’s cells don’t react to insulin, affects over 80,000 people in Northern Ireland today.

Pictured at the announcement are from left: Dr Naresh Chada, Department of Health, Social Care and Public Safety; Dr Roy Harper, SEHSCT; Dr Charlie Adam, SEHSCT; Eran Bashan, Hygieia Inc and Pamela McCreedy, HSCB.

Pictured at the announcement are from left: Dr Naresh Chada, Department of Health, Social Care and Public Safety; Dr Roy Harper, SEHSCT; Dr Charlie Adam, SEHSCT; Eran Bashan, Hygieia Inc and Pamela McCreedy, HSCB.

The dNav™ Insulin Guidance Service, developed by US based company Hygieia, uses a simple finger print blood test combined with smart technology to update insulin dosage on the move, without waiting for the next visit to a healthcare professional. It allows people with diabetes to easily regulate their own insulin dosage, through a small device the size of a mobile phone.

Speaking at her final official event on behalf of the Health and Social Care Board, Pamela McCreedy, outgoing Director of Transforming Your Care (TYC) said:

“This innovation illustrates how Transforming Your Care is being delivered at the frontline, and the Health and Social Care Board has been delighted to have supported getting it to this stage. It aligns perfectly the key principles of Transforming Your Care such as: designing services with the individual at the centre; supporting people to live independently; giving people greater choice, more control and access to services when they need them; and of course prevention and early intervention.”

Mrs McCreedy added: “I congratulate the Trust, Dr Roy Harper and the dNav team on getting to this stage. The expansion of this service is going to transform the lives of many people, giving them more control over their diabetes in the comfort of their homes and by removing a significant pressure on the resources of diabetes clinicians. It is a great example of care being transformed and it is a good news day for healthcare professionals and patients in Northern Ireland.”



Consultations on Statutory Residential Homes

All Trusts across the Health and Social Care sector are carrying out consultations on the proposed changes to the provision of their statutory residential care homes. In seeking to provide the best possible services for older people they would like to hear your views on the proposals.

  • The Northern Trust consultation commenced on 26th June and will run until Friday 2nd October 2015. If you would like to find out more or get involved please click here.
  • The Southern Health and Social Care Trust consultation commenced on 12th June and ran until Friday 18th September 2015. The outcome of this consultation will be presented by the Trust in the near future.
  • The Western Health and Social Care Trust consultation is open from 7th August and Friday 30th October 2015. If you would like to find out more or get involved please click here.
  • The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust consultation is due to commence in October and expected to run for 12 weeks.
  • The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust consultation is expected to commence in the autumn and will run for 12 weeks.

If you or someone you know requires any help on completing a response to the consultation, the Patient Client Council is happy to provide support. Call Lindsay on 028 9027 9355 or email



Breast Screening On The Move

Early intervention and prevention of illness are an integral to Transforming Your Care.  Breast screening is just one of a number of screening programmes in which we can detect cancer at an early stage, improving the chance of a successful recovery and reducing the risk of dying from the disease.

Approximately 1,300 lives are saved each year in the UK as a result of the Breast Screening Programme.

All women aged 50 to 70 in Northern Ireland are invited for breast screening every three years. Already, 75% of these women attend their appointment but there is still room for improvement.

Women aged 70 and over are still entitled to avail of breast screening if they wish but will not receive an automatic invitation

Click here to see where the nearest screening unit is located to you and how you can book an appointment. More information about cancer screening across Northern Ireland is available here.

New mobile units in the South

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has recently marked a new era for breast cancer diagnosis with the introduction of two new mobile breast screening units.

The new nits move throughout Lurgan Hospital, Dromalane Site, Newry, Armagh Community Hospital, South Tyrone Hospital and Banbridge Health Centre.



Wasted Medicines, a burden to the Health Service

Every year 39 million prescription items are issued in Northern Ireland. About 72 tonnes of these medicines, with an estimated value of £6.46m, are returned to community pharmacies as waste. These medicines then cost the Health Service a further £400,000 to dispose of.

Photograph of Brenda Bradley, Pharmacy Lead, Health and Social Care Board and David McCrea, Pharmacist, Dundela Pharmacy with some of the waste medicines.

Brenda Bradley, Pharmacy Lead, Health and Social Care Board and David McCrea, Pharmacist, Dundela Pharmacy show just some waste which was returned to one Community Pharmacy in a two week period.

A new campaign launched by Health and Social Care Board is set to reduce medicine waste which in turn will result in prescribing savings reinvested in other health and social care services. The campaign will encourage people to only order medicines which they need, review their existing prescriptions with their doctors or pharmacists and not to stockpile medication.

As well as the financial cost there is also a social cost to unnecessary medicines being prescribed with evidence that some of the drugs found on the streets are unused prescriptions which have been sold or shared with others.

The Health and Social Care Board has been working with GPs and community pharmacists to tackle this issue.

Anyone who has medicines waste, should continue to return them to their local pharmacy for safe disposal.

More information can be viewed on the HSCB website.




Knowledge Exchange – Update

Image: HSC Knowledge Exchange branding.Join over 2000 Health and Social Care staff users each month to see what people are finding useful by clicking one of the links below:

  • Access to 100s of service and quality improvement tools and templates – free to use!
  • The Social Work Strategy has its resources and updates here too;
  • Interested in Care Pathways and work currently happening in NI?
  • Check out our events calendar to see what’s happening in HSCNI and access resources from those you have missed.

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Up and coming events

  • NICON View From the Edge Conference Series
    Drawing on Helen Bevan’s concept of ‘change beginning at the edge’ NICON has launched a new series of conferences focussed on A View from the Edge.
    The first event takes place on Wednesday 21st October at the HSC Leadership Centre in Belfast, where Dr Tony Stevens, Chief Executive of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust, is presenting his Closer to Communities talk, giving an overview on how the Northern Trust is taking a lead in the transformational change agenda.
    If you would like to register for this event please click here.
    Mairead McAlinden will then be using her unique experience as Chief Executive of the South Devon NHS Foundation Trust and former Chief Executive of Northern Ireland’s Southern Trust, to present Lessons from other Health Trusts on Wednesday 18th November at the Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast. Booking for this event will open in due course.
    Further events in the series will follow in our next edition of the eZine.
  • Annual Carers’ Summit
    Carers’ NI is hosting its annual Carers’ Summit on Wednesday, 14th October at Crumlin Road Gaol. Key note speakers include Valerie Watts, Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board.

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